The Chinese have known of the health benefits of green tea for over 4,000 years, using it to treat anything from headaches to depression. Today, scientific research has proven that the tea is in fact incredibly healthy for the body, both inside and out.
The secret of green tea is that it is rich in catechin polyphenols, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in particular. The ECGC is a powerful anti-oxidant. This substance inhibits the growth of cancer cells, as well as destroys such cells that have already been formed without harming the surrounding healthy tissue. The ECGC is also known to be effective in lowering ‘negative’ LDL cholesterol levels, and discouraging the formation of blood clots. For this reason, green tea is considered an effective way to avoid heart attacks and strokes.
The effects of ECGC are similar to those of resveratrol, a polyphenol found in red wines, which limits the effects of smoking and a fatty diet. In 1997, researchers concluded that ECGC is twice as powerful as resveratrol, which could possibly explain why heart diseases are uncommon in Asians despite the fact that 75% of them smoke. It is also believed that green tea helps to prevent tooth decay, by eliminating the bacteria that causes dental plaque. The anti-bacterial properties of the tea may also help prevent food poisoning. Many skin care products containing green tea are beginning to appear on the market, as well.